OLD ORCHARD BEACH- It was a long summer for the Fayette-Staples American Legion baseball team. Its season started just days after the high school season ended, and the new school year is just weeks away. Fayette-Staples’ marathon summer season came to an end Friday afternoon when it was bounced out of the Northeast Regional Tournament with a 4-0 loss to Concord, N.H at The Ballpark.

For coach Ray Petit, it wasn’t the way he wanted to see his team finish.

“The kids battled their butts off, and they came up short four times (the past two tournaments),” said Petit. “I’m very proud of the way they played.”

After winning the Zone 5 tournament a couple weeks ago, Fayette-Staples went 0-2 in the State Legion Tournament last weekend. As the host team for the regionals, Fayette-Staples became the final team in the eight-team tournament.

After a close 5-2 loss in the fog on Thursday night, Fayette-Staples had simllar conditions to deal with on Friday, and met a similar fate.

Concord’s Eddie Dionne shut down Fayette-Staples over eight and a third innings pitched, allowing just four hits. Fayette-Staples left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings, which seemed to seal its fate.

The sixth inning rally that wasn’t was the real backbreaker in Petit’s eyes.

“We had bases loaded, Dillon (Dunbar) hit the ball hard up the middle, and the pitcher made a nice play. If that ball gets through, it’s a totally different game,” said Petit. “Just the luck wasn’t with us.”

Jack Kenney pitch a solid game for Fayette-Staples, giving up six hits in six and two thirds innings. His only blemish was a two out rally for Concord in the third, when it scored three runs.

After getting two quick outs on fly outs, Kenney gave up an infield single to Ben Bengston. Kenney walked Pat Cannon before Dionne provided all the run support he would need. He knocked a base hit into shallow center that scored Bengston to break the 0-0 stalemate. Cannon then scored on a double steal, and Dionne came around on Dillon Emerson’s double.

“It helps to have a lead. Once you’re up, you know you have a little insurance. All you got to do is throw strikes,” said Dionne about being able to pitch with the early lead.

Dionne has a simple approach to pitching, but it worked to keep his team alive in the double-elimation tournament.

“I just to try to go out there and throw strikes and give my team a chance to win,” said Dionne. “Basically, just let them hit the ball and put it in play. Hopefully my defense makes the plays, and today they did.”

Concord continues its run in the losers bracket today as they face Saratoga, N.Y. at 12:30 p.m.

—Contact Wil Kramlich at 282-1535, Ext. 323.

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